It's cranberry season, and these healthy, tart berries can be eaten in many ways. Right now we're enjoying them in juice with apples and pears; as a beautiful holiday sauce; and as a topping for a light dessert of sliced pears. The juice is delicious, vitalizes and cleanses, has the prettiest pink color, and a medley of tastes that range from sweet, to tangy, to mildly tart. About the sauce on pears, Rex says, "It's hard to describe how good this is. This is really the best seasonal treat, ever. It tastes like Christmas!"
Cranberries have Vitamin C, fiber, and are a powerful antioxidant. When making the sauce, you'll find there are three kinds of sweetness that mix with the tangy berries: oranges, raisins, and honey.
Ingredients and Directions for Juice: makes two 8 oz. servings
1 cup cranberries
Rinse berries and fruits with pure water. Chop fruit to fit into juicer.
Juice and drink immediately.
Ingredients and Directions for Sauce: makes 1 and 1/2 cups
1 cup cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 orange, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons super finely grated ginger root, peeled first
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 shakes clove
Pulse in food processor to desired texture.
Ingredients and Directions for Dessert: serves 2-4
1/2 cup Cranberry Sauce
Rinse pears, remove skin if necessary, and slice onto a plate or bowl.
Spoon one half of the sauce on top of each plate. Serve immediately.
The Little Story: Creative Cycles
I've been having the best time looking at two unique, creative European websites, Gudrun from Sweden, and Toast from the UK. The clothes, models, and locations for the shoots are so different from the standard American catalogs and promotions. Both Gundrun and Toast share inspiration with their viewers through gorgeous photographs that transport us to beautiful, natural surroundings, whether it's a large empty house in Stockholm, perfect ice that's smooth as glass on the island of Faringso outside Stockholm, the Swedish Royal Opera house, or to Tusheti which lies on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Gundrun and Toast speak to me of living one's dream, and of the beauty of life which is so much a part of the message of The Healing Feast.
A short film (on the Toast site) that was shot in St. Ives, Cornwall, with a haunting ballad sung for the sound tract, led me to search out the historic art school where they filmed. Within minutes, dreams of attending some day were seeded. Their latest addition is a recipe journal by cook, Orlando Gough. Although it's not a raw book, I really enjoyed his presentation, and it makes me want to do something similar, perhaps a little holiday e-book filled with raw food dishes!
This is the beauty of creativity: one action inspires another. Fire touches down within the soul. These energies can rise from within, or light upon us from the world around us. When it happens, the effect is the same: I feel a surge of life force that calls me to make something unique, something new, and to explore, learn, and share.
As for my creative process, it comes and goes. Sometimes I'm writing poetry, then I'm painting, or making cards. Other times I may be working on ideas for future books, taking photographs, or just watching the world in my own back yard. I think the same thing happens with food. There are days that pass when I'm less inspired to create new recipes, yet at other times they come through so quickly it's exciting, like with these three cranberry recipes.
We read a sweet story about a woman who lived on the prairie, and she said that poems would flow over the wheat fields, carried on the wind. Like me, she had to write them down in that instant or they would pass and be gone. Because the muse comes at any time, in any moment, I try to stay in a state of readiness, a kind of listening, to catch the waves of wonder and beauty when inspiration touches down like a butterfly landing on a flower. This reminds me that when the spiritual essence that manifests itself through the act of creativity comes, anything and everything can take place.
As we come to the close of 2012, we wish you many blessings as you celebrate the season with your special traditions, be it Christmas, the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or any of the many hundreds of others, all equally beautiful and special.
Bells are ringing through my being, proclaiming all that is good. May every moment be filled with the life and love that is cherished deeply in the soul, embedded in the heart, and shared with loved ones through laughter, peace, caring, and joy.